GUEST POST: I'm a Pediatrician and I Let My Baby Fall Off the Bed
Friday, June 17, 2011
In light of Father's Day coming up this Sunday, here are some reflections by Dr. Candice Chen, one of our guest posters, from something that occurred on that other important day back in May.
Mother’s Day, 2011: My husband sets our 9 month old daughter on the bed so he can put something away. She is well within my reach and I think, "Gee, she's close to the edge." And before the thought is finished, the slow motion action begins and she is tumbling off the side of the bed. I reach for her, but her slippery little onesied body slips out of my grasp and just like you would expect, gravity has her falling head first toward the hardwood floor. She hits and lies there for a good second wondering what the heck just happened, and then she starts crying like she only cries when she doesn't want to go to sleep at night. And I'm thinking, "There was no LOC
Parenthood has made me a better pediatrician. I admit, before I had my own, I would not infrequently think, "How did they let the baby fall off the bed?" or "Who forgets to buckle the baby into the car seat
?" Yes, we did that too. But I have a better understanding now for how hard parenting is, and what a true 24/7 job feels like. Parenthood hasn't changed the advice I give, but it has infused a dose of reality, understanding and humor into that advice. Parenthood doesn't need to be a pre-requisite for doctoring. There are many things I have yet to experience and hope never to experience, but it's a reminder to try to look at things from our patients’ and parents' perspectives when doctoring.